TODAY -

Chief Minister O Ibobi exhorts North East youth
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 13 2013: Inaugural function of a five-day North East National Service Scheme (NSS) Festival hosted by the state's Department of Youth Affairs & sports was held today at Khuman Lampak Indoor Stadium with Chief Minister O ibobi Singh as the chief guest.

Parliamentary Secretary (YAS & Tourism) M Prithviraj and Commissioner (YAS, Art & Culture) Dr RK Nimai Singh attended the function as president and guest of honour respectively.

The festival being participated by 30 youths, including 15 females, from eight North Eastern States will showcase rich cultural diversity of the region.

Delivering the key-note address, Head of NSS Regional Centre, Guwahati Sunil Basumatary stated that the Government of India has sanctioned to organise four NSS festivals in the NE region during the current financial year with the remaining three slated to be held in Shillong, Aizawl and Agartala in January and February next year.

In his address, chief Minister O Ibobi Singh welcoming the NSS volunteers from NE states expressed that the event under the initiative of the Central Government is to encourage the students/youths of this region to be part of the NSS movement.

lt is not only the pride of this State but also for all the North East States that such a unique and remarkable Festival of NSS is held for the first time in the region, said the CM while highlighting that in lndia, the idea of involving students in the task of national service dates back to the times of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation.

The central theme, which he (Mahatma Gandhi) tried to impress upon his student audience time and again, was that they should always keep before them, their social responsibility, Ibobi reminded.

Further stating that duty of the students should be not only to treat their period of study as one of the opportunities for indulgence in intellectual luxury, but to form a living contact with the community in whose midst their institution is located, he strongly advocated that the students should do "something positive so that the life of the villagers might be raised to a higher material and moral level" .

Noting that the post-independence era was marked by an urge for introducing social service for students, both as a measure of educational reform and as a means to improve the quality of educated manpower, he maintained that in 1958, India's first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru mooted the idea of having social service as a prerequisite for graduation.

The Education Commission headed by Dr DS Kothari (1964-66) recommended that students at all stages of education should be associated with some form of social service.

On September 24, 1969, the NSS programme was launched in 37 universities covering all the States, conveyed the CM expressing "It was appropriate that the programme was started during the Gandhi Centenary year, as it was Mahatma Gandhiji who inspired the lndian youth to participate in the movement for Indian independence and the social upliftment of the downtrodden masses of our nation" .

The cardinal principle of the programme is that it is organised by the students themselves and both students and teachers through their combined participation in social service, get a sense of involvement in the tasks of national development.

Besides, the students, particularly, obtain work experience, which might help them to find avenues of self-employment or employment in any organisation at the end of their university career, Ibobi said.

Referring to unexplored talents in the North Eastern Region, particularly sports, he exuded confidence that with proper nurturing and tapping of these talents, players from these region will certainly be able to bag more medals in international level competitions and the Olympic Games.

Youths of these region are talented and have lots of social responsibility.

These kind of festival in the region will bring together all the youths of NE region, to know each other better and work together for upliftment of the region.

ln Manipur, the subject of NSS was transferred from the Education Department to the Youth Affairs and Sports Department in the year 1980.At present, the approved strength of NSS Volunteer in Manipur is 15,972.This scheme is being implemented in the State through 60 colleges and 48 higher secondary schools spread in all the districts of the state including NSS Units in Manipur University, Technical institutions and Central Agricultural University, Iroisemba.

The NSS students have also done useful work in organising campaigns for eradication of social evils, and popularization of the nationally accepted objectives like nationalism, democracy, secularism, social harmony and development of scientific temper, he added.


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